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Let There Be Light

This story (turned saga) begins with a grumpy husband (Scott) and a stubborn wife (Kim). Husband wants to sleep, because he gets up for work at 4:30 am and sits in traffic to reach his office. Wife gets up at 6:30, hits the snooze for at least 45 minutes, then very slowly begins her work days at home. In the evenings, said husband goes to bed very, very early, and said wife enjoys the comfort of a good book in bed. Using a floor lamp as bright as the sun.

Yes, I could read my highly intelligent chick lit on the couch, but I want to be by my man. He goes to bed early, so I do too. He covers his head with pillows, and I – with guilty pangs, of course – read by the light of a 40 watt bulb on a whole-room illuminating floor lamp. He would grumble; we’d bicker (and don’t they say, never go to bed angry? Oops). So, you see, something had to change. And then I read about Daniel’s Ikea Frack Hack over in his Manhattan Nest.

Using a $5 Ikea mirror, he adds electrical magic with wire, a socket, adapters and voila! – super sweet bedside lights. I thought, hey, we can do this, too! I show Scott, he approves, and he even picks up the two Fracks. I order the wire that Daniel recommends from Sundial (also seen on our most recent lighting dilemma), and we plan a trip to the store for the sockets and adapters that weekend.

And this is when it becomes a saga.

We hit the hardware store for the socket and adapter-nut-doos, only to find that they don’t sell the proper ones. For this to work, we need a socket with 1) a switch and 2) a hole that comes out the side for the wire to pass through. Oddly enough, that combination wasn’t available. No big, we thought. We continued our search to a different shop, and then another one, and then another one after that. And no one had the damn sockets. (In fact, a lighting specialty store told us that what we’re looking for doesn’t even exist.)

So we hit the fancy pantsy web and searched there. Nothing. I went back to Daniel’s original post and scoured the comments for more information, Yelp!-ed the shop where he scooped his supplies, and I called them like any normal, totally sane DIY enthusiast. After several attempts for voice contact (with no answer), I finally lost it. I told Scott, it’s hopeless! We’re doomed to a life of bright lights and floor lamps!

And then I emailed Daniel. I told him that – aside from praising his glorious invention – even in this big, bad, windy city, there were no hole-out-the-side sockets to be found. Not to mention, there surely weren’t any andapter-doos! (Which, by the way, are known as IP reducers.) I must have sounded awfully desperate (I was), because he bought them for us. Then he mailed them to us. Then I payed him back with virtual hugs and kisses (oh, and PayPal money, too) while praising the blogging gods for being so awesome and sending us our hero.

Scott spent all of ten minutes putting them together and installing them in our room. We shuffled our cutie cubes (formally stacked together on the window side) so they flanked the bed and centered each light above it.

Of course, I took this as an opportunity to get a new alarm clock. Since now, you know, it would be seen and all out in the open.

I promise you that my books don’t always match the decor. (No, really, I didn’t even stage that.) The pillows, bison print, and gold wire though? No accident.

All socket-nut problems aside, this project was so simple to execute. But our city-wide search left a bad taste in my mouth, so would I say it was easy overall? Hell no. It still astounds us that the most vital parts of Daniel’s hack were non-existent in Chicago (the closest we got was a helpful dude from this store, but even he was puzzled), but our interweb hero saved the day. And our marriage. Well, that, and a 25 watt bulb. (Just so we’re clear, the original floor lamp took a special weirdo bulb that we couldn’t find in a lower wattage; this was most likely due to the fact that the lamp itself came from Ikea, therefore making all replacement parts hard to find in all of America.)

We still don’t know what to do with the mirrors.

For a full tutorial on the Frack hack, go to Manhattan Nest, and for an easy wiring how-to, see how we do it right here. And now we wonder, have you hacked? Can we see?

(Unfortunately, the Ikea Frack mirror is no longer on the site. But apparently, you can get it on Amazon. Also, gah, it seems it’s jumped in price to $12.99.)

  • Amanda- Hip House Girl - October 26, 2011 - 10:24 AM

    Daniel is the best! The fact that he bought and then mailed you parts just makes him even more awesome. Also, I devoured this post because we have the same problem. I love to read in bed in close proximity to my man, but I have to use a leetle teeny reading light. (Well, we also have no bedside lamps at all yet.) I really like the look of these lamps. The gold wire is soooo pretty with a touch of industrial.ReplyCancel

  • Elisa @ The Self Life - October 26, 2011 - 12:24 PM

    Very clever! The wire you guys chose is greeeat. So what’s the verdict? Sleep schedules still in tact?ReplyCancel

  • Miranda @Boucksy - October 26, 2011 - 2:16 PM

    Daniel is BRILLIANT! I have been drooling over that hack since I first saw it..but like yours…it’d become a saga. Firstly, the nearest Ikea is 8 hours away in every direction! Gotta love Omaha! (Meaning we’ve either got to go to the Twin Cities, the Windy City, or good ol’ Denver) second, I’m pretty sure there are many other steps..but the first one is daunting enough!

    LOVE the hack! LOVE that you mentioned Daniel. LOVE your alarm clock, and of course, LOVE your blog like always.ReplyCancel

  • courtneyoutloud - October 26, 2011 - 2:48 PM

    That rocks. I have the same issue with The Partner but choose to ignore it :) In turn he chooses to ignore his alarm every morning which wakes me up…..it’s a give and take :)ReplyCancel

  • Laura - October 26, 2011 - 3:20 PM

    My boyfriend and I used to have a similar issue; he’d like to watch TV in bed at night, and I can’t sleep with any lights/sound. My answer to the problem? Removed the damn TV. Hahaha. Now he’s forced to go downstairs to our living room to watch the tube before bed. And I’m a-okay with that :) I kept telling him it was better anyways, who wants to watch a 32″ with a 52″ 10 steps downstairs?

    When I first saw Daniel’s hack I LOVED it. I love it even more now seeing it in your place, but I can only imagine the issues I’d have not being near a major city. Its awesome that he sent it to you, what a sweet heart.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - October 26, 2011 - 7:34 PM

    Elisa, sleep schedules are working out great… now!

    Courtney, I love your give and take. That’s true love.

    Laura, I also have a problem with wanting to watch an episode of something before bed (when I don’t have a book handy). Scott, of course, grumbles about this, too. But, you know what?! That’s life! (J/K. Kinda.)ReplyCancel

  • Laura - October 27, 2011 - 11:18 AM

    Pick and choose your battles right? I chose poorly. I just found out we’ll be investing in new surround sound. HAHA! What I wouldn’t give for a reader with a penchant for cute lights?!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - October 27, 2011 - 2:28 PM

    Those are awesome! I can fall asleep with lights, t.v., dogs, you name it but if all said things are still going half an hour later and wake me up? It’s freakin’ UGLY~ReplyCancel

  • Jadyn @ Dutch.British.Love - November 3, 2011 - 11:20 AM

    Wow, I just love how they look but they’re also so practical! The wire you picked adds such a fun touch!ReplyCancel

  • Chris Newald - November 14, 2011 - 11:03 AM

    I always find it amazing at how much time finding something specific can take. My wife and I often enjoy little projects together but once in a while we get hung up on a piece of hardware that you simply can’t find anywhere. Last time it was a specific size of screw that took us weeks to get (we finally found it online). The project may only take a few hours to finish but you need a lifetime of driving around trying to find that one magical piece that puts it all together.ReplyCancel

  • 10 IKEA Hacks to Bookmark! | Steal Mag - March 6, 2014 - 1:03 PM

    [...] Let There Be LightA FRACK mirror gets connected in this project from Yellow Brick Home. Copyright 2005 – 2013 Poppytalk. All Rights Reserved [...]ReplyCancel

  • [...] Let There Be LightA FRACK mirror gets connected in this project from Yellow Brick Home. Copyright 2005 – 2013 Poppytalk. All Rights Reserved [...]ReplyCancel

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